I went to Purvis High School with a boy who carried around a tape measure, pliers and a slide rule in his pocket. He was the smartest kid in our class, so of course we all made fun of him. (Yes, I was educated in South Mississippi–the bastion of intellectual pursuit in the late 70s.) This guy endured high school, (he was our valedictorian) and went on to get his Ph.D. in Astrophysics. He is now an esteemed professor at Auburn, a father of three beautiful children, and is a patent holder for a new kind of engine, among many other achievements that are way over my head. Roy does things the right way, or he doesn’t do them at all.
I tell you about this classmate (I love you dearly Roy!) to compare him to another great guy I know and love–my husband. Jim and Roy have many qualities in common. They met at my 25th class reunion, and while my classmates and I were shakin’ our groove thangs on the dance floor, Jim and Roy were huddled in the corner discussing the Space Time Continuum or String Theory or whatever. It seriously looked like a scene from NERDS GONE WILD! So you’ll understand when I tell you that when Jim undertakes a project, he researches it to DEATH! He won’t buy a lug-nut without investigating the merits of said “nut”. Lord help us when he buys a car! He plans even the most mundane project with meticulous preparations and refuses to do any job unless it’s done to his exacting standards. This boy did not go to the school of “Half-Assed”. I however, am the valedictorian of THAT school! Case in point:
As we finish up the little jobs needed to complete our construction project, I’m doing as much grunt-work as I can because I simply have way more free time than Jim. If I can do my part by hauling, raking, digging, spreading or hosing, I happily get sweaty and dirty for the cause. Last Saturday we spent the morning fixing the area by the new driveway by removing gravel and laying dirt and sod in the curve.
But Noooooooooooooooooooooo! Jim spent two backbreaking hours with a shovel and wheelbarrow, removing every little morsel of gravel leaving an even deeper hole for us to fill.
Thus, I freely admit that I am the Queen of “GIT ER DONE!” and Jim is the king of DO IT RIGHT! So when he comes home from work today and sees the results of 3 1/2 hours of my hard labor, I know he’ll have something snarky to say.
I spent the morning leveling the dirt, filling in holes, spreading new dirt and sod, and laying the pavers down in the pattern we have planned for the walkway. Did I lay the pavers correctly? No. Do I care? No. I just wanted my tenant to have something clean to walk on, plus I wanted to see how pretty they would look when they are properly installed. And PROPERLY installed they will be! Jim will probably align the pavers with the Prime Meridian and further have their placement coordinated with the Global Satellite Positioning System while consulting the Periodic Table for the correct mix of mortar and sand. OH THEY’LL BE INSTALLED PROPERLY MY FRIEND, YOU CAN BET YER SWEET BIPPY ON THAT!
But still, I’m proud of my efforts and I keep looking out the window to gaze upon what I hath wrought.
And now I’ll close with a photo of two of my favorite guys.
I’ll give you a break from the construction news today to show you some great pictures from Buster’s 7th birthday party. If you’re a new reader, you’re thinking, “Did she say, Buster’s birthday party?” Yes, every neighborhood needs a crazy lady and I fit the bill quite nicely. Each year I invite some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet to a Bunny Birthday Bash complete with snacks, beverages and of course, carrot cake.
Thanks again to Shirley and the nice folks at Earth Fare for making his cake for the 3rd year in a row.
I set the table with an appropriate bunny-themed decoration…
And at Buster’s suggestion, I put a basket for donations to his favorite cause.
By the end of the night, my sweet neighbors donated $160.00 to the shelter. Thanks so much y’all!
Jim made a ton of chili for Frito pie. He thought he invented a method for chopping a bunch of onions without causing tears, but later he Googled it, and someone else had thought of it first.
The night was quite fun as always. I forced my guests to sing Happy Birthday and enlisted a cute red-head to blow out the candles for him.
Now I have to issue a disclaimer here. The following pictures are of my friends and neighbors. If this sounds dull to you, then I suggest you stop here and get on with the important duties of your day. I will say, however, that I have above average-looking neighbors and consider these photos to be treats for the eyes. Enjoy, and until next year…HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet Buster Man!
That’s all folks! Thanks again for making it a great party and a wonderful chance to catch up with some of the best neighbors in the world!
Now that the roof is going up, I can really see how the carport will look when it’s finished.
I got sore muscles just watching these guys dig the holes for the extension of the privacy fence. They sure save a lot of $$$ on gym memberships.
We’ve pulled up all the pavers and plan to have a privacy fence extend around the back of the yard. For now Chris will leave a large section undone so we can have easy access to the yard for dumping sod and dirt. When we’re completely finished with the landscaping, we’ll close it in and the house will have a 1/3 bigger yard and more privacy as well.
I have a master plan to put a fountain along the angled part of the fence and with the addition of some foliage and Adirondack chairs, this area should be a little suburban oasis.
And now for your daily dose of “kitty”.
We love this grizzled old guy. 🙂
The next step in construction is framing. After the concrete hardens overnight, workers can step on it although it needs to dry a lot longer for a car to park.
We were careful to plan the smallest carport that we could get away with because we didn’t want it to overpower the tiny house. By our calculations, this is the littlest two-car carport in our neighborhood. If you look on the right you can see a small shed in front of the store room. This is for golf cart parking. We plan to line the shed floor with some of the pavers we removed from the yard and use more to make brick pathway from the golf bay to our back fence gate. That will come much later.
I guess I should put an animal or two in this post since it is called the KITTYBUNNYCHICKEN right?
BIG BABY! 🙂
I like watching most kinds of construction in our neighborhood. There’s always some new house going up and I’ll stop and take a gander during my neighborhood walks. All the construction guys know me but oddly I don’t get catcalls and whistles. They must just be very well-mannered. 🙂 Yes, that must be it. I especially like to see concrete being poured and shaped and I had a very good time watching the pad being poured for our little house yesterday. There’s a lot of skill involved obviously, but there is an art to it as well.
These guys have done this a few times and they sure make it look easy.
And “messing up” is not an option with concrete. Especially after it starts to harden up.
The weather was just right for the pour and I had a good time watching the crew. There was only one slight glitch in an otherwise perfect day. A large chicken wandered on to the work site and before we could stop him, he left his mark in the hardening pad.
The back yard of our little rental house is really coming along nicely. Our plan was to switch the parking area from the far side of the yard to directly behind the house. This will expand the back yard and provide easier access for cars to park.
We are removing some picket fencing but we will recycle it after the pad is poured.
The next step is for Chris and his crew to place the big posts that will hold up the carport roof.
We’re also going to dig up all those pavers but save them for some pathways and a small patio. We’ll replace them with sod and the yard will be about 1/3 bigger than it is now.
Then it was time for Ricky to come in with his concrete crew to ready the pad for pouring.
At the end of the day, the pad is ready for pouring.
The noise was pretty loud at times and G. T. even came in once or twice to escape the din.
Oh, yes…it bothered Mulder a lot too.
Graycie and Manny have been putting the finishing touches on their groovy new outdoor living area.
They have cubby holes for hiding in…
And lots of room for running around…
Plus they have lots of hay to nibble and fresh veggies for their gourmet meals.
But the best part is that Graycie has a whole new group of friends! These are just a couple of the new pals she’s met at her new home with her Mama Mary.
You have a beautiful sanctuary Mary and a giant heart! Thanks for giving Graycie and all your beautiful creatures a wonderful home!
I was feeling pretty smug about my apple trees this season. I have two different varieties and they produce fruit at different times of the year. This year, one of them has gone crazy with more apples than we can eat and I was pretty proud of our little backyard “orchard”.
That is until Tama sent me a picture of HER apple tree!
Then, she had the gall to send me a picture of her PEAR tree!
OK, Tama–I get it. Germania is awesome, your trees are amazing, and my trees are lame and sad.
A POX UPON YOUR TREES!
Oh, here’s a bit of news you might find interesting…
Life is good.
I was curious about how many different critters Jim would see in the Smoky Mountains on his backpacking trip, so I Googled “Animals in the Smoky Mountains” and saw a list with close to 500 different animals.
I put together a little welcoming committee to greet him upon his return.
Alas, he said he only saw some bear poop and a salamander. Well, I’m glad he didn’t see any of these…
along the trial.
And in keeping with the Beanie theme, I ran across four little guys on Ebay that I could not help bidding on. The bidding started at $1.50 each so I said “What the heck!”
I was the only bidder and I could NOT believe my luck. When Jim saw them he told me I should be ashamed of myself for stealing these from some poor soul who either made these custom sweaters, or paid handsomely for them back in the Beanie heyday. While I do love a bargain, I thought he was right, so I sent the seller some more moolah for which she was very surprised and grateful.